Urban art and wine
Born in the seventies of the twentieth century, as a transgressive and avant-garde practice, the URBAN ART is today one of the most successful and widespread creative forms globally. Since iconic figures such as TAKI 183, Rammellzee, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring o Futura2000, among many others, began to paint their illegal tags and illegal graffiti on the underground cars and other surfaces in New York's public spaces a lot of water has already flowed under the bridge.
Despite its relatively short history, the street art is already a full-fledged part of the contemporary artistic languages. Its importance within the current art system is beyond dispute, being fully accepted by art history as well as by the public, critics, institutions and, of course, the market. With regard to its enormous commercial success, it is worth recalling that Basquiat is at this moment the big star of the international secondary art market. His painting Untitled (1982), which in 2017 was sold at Sotheby's in New York for almost $111 million, is the seventh most expensive work of art ever sold at public auction, the most expensive work by an American artist and the most expensive work created after 1980. Other artists, such as Banksy, Obey Giant, Kaws, Os Gêmeos o JR (belonging to the generation after Basquiat and Haring), have today a resounding popularity and are real "commercial machines". Likewise, Spanish artists such as Suso33, Okuda, Sfhir, Spok Brillor o Belin (to mention just a few), are having a first-rate international projection.
The wide dissemination of street art is mainly due to its absolute expressive freedom, its great emotional impact and its ability to connect directly with people's lives, many works being located in open spaces and well visible even from far away.
Like other creators of the past, several urban artists have also dealt with themes related to the wine and its culture. If in previous articles we spoke, for example, of the relationship between art and the oenological universe in works by Tàpies, Picasso, Warhol, Mucha o Genovésamong others, this time we present a selection of outstanding pieces by Spanish and international urban artists who have tackled the same theme.
We start with one of the most recognised protagonists of the Spanish "urban scene", Sfhir. Pseudonym Hugo Lomas, this artist was born in Madrid and took his first steps in graffiti. In 1995, at the age of fourteen, he was expelled from high school for being discovered painting with spray. Legend has it that after this event, his art teacher imposed a very unusual sanction on him: he had to be expelled from school with the permission of his headmaster.he had to repeat the clandestine work, this time on the wall of the high school. and with the permission of his headmaster. This event changed his life and set him on a brilliant artistic path.
In his works, Sfhir combines graffiti with all kinds of media, such as airbrushes, guns, brushes, rollers, pens, fire on wood or ephemeral illustrations made with laser pointers. On several occasions Sfhir has collaborated with Vivanco. Among other initiatives, it is worth mentioning his participation in 2015 in the inauguration of the exhibition ".Inspired by wine. Masters of contemporary printmaking"The exhibition included works from the Engravings Collection of the Museum Vivanco de la Cultura del Vino. During the inauguration, Sfhir made the performance LumenDuring the inauguration, he painted fascinating traces of light with torches and lasers on a surface printed with photoluminescent paint.
Commenting on this collaboration, the artist said: "Wine, like art, is part of our culture. Our country has the most appropriate angle of incidence of sunlight to perceive colours and, therefore, to create art, and that wonderful sun is the same one that makes our wine the best in the world".. In this video you can see the artist in action during the aforementioned event:
Globartia Visual Art Company
We continue with the work of Globartia Visual Art CompanyGlobartia Visual Art Company, a group of artists from La Rioja that is dedicated to visual creation, carrying out projects such as artistic murals, workshops and design. This group has also collaborated several times with the Foundation. Vivanco. Here we show three murals painted in the towns of Haro and Briones to celebrate wine and its close links with the region.
The first is a reproduction of the painting Jarreras customsby the Riojan painter Enrique Paternina (1866-1910). It was painted in 2013, on one of the façades of the Plaza de la Paz, in the municipality of Haro.
The other two pieces were made in 2012 in Briones, a town essentially marked by the world of wine. The first one reproduces, as a trompe l'oeil, a bottle rack on a monumental scale on the façade of a building. The second celebrates Briones and its relationship with the Culture of Wine, through the symbolic element of the sacred chalice. At the bottom of the composition, almost as if it were an island in a sea of wine, is the Museum Vivanco.
Speaking of murals that celebrate wine and its millenary culture, we cannot fail to highlight another marvellous work carried out, in 2016, by another protagonist of Spanish urban art, Mr. Trazo. It is titled "Sabia locura", measures 2.50 x 4.00 metres and is located in the municipality of Villacañas, in the southeast of the province of Toledo. With these words the artist describes his work: "Hidden behind a mask of Bacchus is the Knight of the Sad Figure, an old man considered mad and immature for daring to become a nobleman and enter the world of his dreams. Don Quixote inherits some characteristics of his archetype from classical mythology, Silenus, and then mimics Bacchus, from whom he takes his wise madness and teaches us that dreaming does not make us mad"..
Born in Brazatortas (Ciudad Real) in 1987 and currently based in Cuenca, Mr. Trazo began his artistic career in the street, painting graffiti. His work can be seen today on walls in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Ibiza, Wiesbaden, Lisbon, London, Miami and Mexico City, among others. His style of painting has been defined as expressionist. One of his typical elements is the deformation of the figures, to represent, in his words, "the hidden face of each individual". Along with Sfhir, he is on the list of the 20 best Spanish urban artists The Scottish expert Laurent Jacquet, author of the specialised website "...".Street Art 360”.
Mr. Trazo, Sabia locura, 2016. ©Mario Rodríguez. Photo: courtesy of Mr. Trazo, 2018.
Faith47 and Ben Eine
We end our street-art tour in South Africa. Here, in 2010, two of the most important international artists, Faith47 y Ben Einewere invited to participate in the project The Origin Wine Canvas. This is a monumental intervention The artists painted on several wine tanks, each with a capacity of about 120,000 litres, from the Origin Wine cellar in Stellenbosch (five were painted by Ben Eine and two by Faith47).
The Origin Wine Canvas, Fath47. Courtesy: Next Decade Discipline, 2018.
Born in Cape Town in 1979 and based in Los Angeles, Faith47 is one of the most famous urban artists in the world. Self-taught, she began painting graffiti in the second half of the 1990s. Her work can be seen in the United States, Canada, South Africa, China, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Sweden, among other countries. In 2013 he also worked in Spain, where he produced a work in Tudela and one in Malaga.. For The Origin Wine Canvas she made a painting in black and white, which combines two allegorical female figures with a poetic inscription, in her usual style linked to emotion and spirituality. In this video you can see the artist making the work:
English artist, Ben Eine (pseudonym of Ben Flynn) was born in London in 1970 and is known worldwide for his distinctive graphic experiments with the letters of the alphabet. He has collaborated with artists such as Banksy, D*Face o Inkie (among others) and his work can be found on the streets of London, Paris, Stockholm and New York, among many other cities. In July 2010 he achieved global fame, when the then British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a work of his - Twenty First Century City - to Barack Obama. For The Origin Wine Canvas he created a piece in which the written text plays with chromatic variations. In this video we see him in action creating his extraordinary piece: